Latest exam updates

Practical Update 

We appreciate how much the cancellation of our exams has affected learners and we are working hard on solutions to ensure learners can gain their qualifications at the earliest opportunity.

However, on the basis of official and local advice due to COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel all Practical exams in Macau until further notice. This decision affects all 2020 bookings for Graded Music Exams, ARSM, Diploma, Choral Singing and Ensemble exams, but does not currently affect any bookings for Music Theory exams. Following this decision, we will process 100% refunds for all existing Practical exam bookings and our Representatives will provide further guidance in due course.

We are sorry for the impact on teachers and candidates and thank you for your loyalty and support while these restrictions remain in place. We are continuing to review when live Practical exams can resume in Macau and will offer them again at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our new remotely-assessed Performance Grades provide an alternative progression route for students during this period of disruption. The Performance Grades are equivalent to our Practical Grades in demand, recognition and value. They are based on the same repertoire and syllabuses, assessment criteria and quality assurance measures as our existing exams and will be assessed by the same highly trained examiners. Booking will open in Macau before the end of the year and you can record your video submission any time from now on. Find out more here.


This syllabus is designed to support and motivate the choral activity of a wide range of choirs, giving a sense of progression and achievement from the earliest levels. Exams are available at three levels – Initial, Intermediate and Advanced – and choirs can choose their own repertoire.

At each level, choirs perform vocal exercises followed by three contrasted choral works. As well as the boost to motivation that comes from working towards an exam, there's the opportunity for choirs to discover and perform some fantastic music of their own choice.

As with all our assessments, the performance is heard by one of our ABRSM examiners – all highly qualified, experienced musicians. For successful performances, all members of the choir present at the exam receive a celebratory certificate.

Whether you’re a choral member, teacher or director, we hope this syllabus inspires and supports your music learning or teaching. We wish you every success for your musical journey.

Please note that this syllabus is only available online.

What's in the exam?

  • For candidates of Grades 1–3 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 7–10 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

  • For candidates of Grades 4–5 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 9–12 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

  • For candidates of Grades 6–8 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 12–15 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

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